Despite a week that showed some leadership and progress with NATO and a drop in the unemployment rate to 6.1%, President Barack Obama’s approval rating lost three points, according to a new poll by Zogby Analytics. Last month’s Zogby poll had the President’s approval at 46%, while the new poll of 904 likely voters conducted online September 3-4, reveals a drop to 43%.

Mr. Obama lost ground this past month among both men (2 points) and women (3 points). While he gained 4 points (47% to 51%) among 18-29 year olds, he lost ground among 30-49 year olds (2 points), 50-64 year olds (10 points), and voters over 65 (2 points). He has dropped 9 points (from 83% to 74%) among Democrats and 7 points among liberals (82% to 75%), moderates (7 points down to 46%), and independents (3 points down to 31%).

While there were notable gains among Hispanics since the August Zogby poll – from 65% to 74%), the President has lost 14 points among African Americans (from 91% approve to 77% approve). There were also modest losses among the Creative Class and Weekly Wal-Mart Shoppers (3 points), and NASCAR Fans (5 points).

Job growth is still not impacting the majority of voters, perhaps because of inflation and anxiety over spending. And despite rallying NATO allies to commit to stronger action both in Ukraine and Iraq, there is no visible progress that is seen as a game-changer. Democrats remain very competitive in key Senate races and there are real signs – as there were at this point in 2010 – of a possible Republican wave.

But if the Democrats have any slim hope of holding on their majority in the Senate, they will need a President who is seen in a more positive light. Mr. Obama can still turn out crowds and raise a lot of money. As we saw with the registration deadline for the Affordable Care Act, he can also rally younger voters when he needs to. But from the vantage point of Labor Day as the traditional kickoff for the fall campaign, the public perception of Mr. Obama is not where it needs to be.

We will have to see both a new jobs figure that reveals more robust job creation than this past month and a readjustment of this month’s anemic job creation numbers (which many economists are suggesting). We will also have to see tangible progress in both Ukraine and Iraq to potentially beef up the view of Mr. Obama – and bolster the Democrats’ hope for November.